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Lagos adopts measures to curb bail abuse

23 May 2014, 07:35Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The Lagos State Government said it would soon begin the registration and creation of a central data base for all professional sureties in the state.

Ade Ipaye, Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said the move would check the activities of touts abusing the bail system by forging various documents including tax certificates and Certificate of Occupancy, to perfect the granting of bail to defendants.

According to him, once the law comes into force, the issue of defendants absconding from trial after being admitted to bail will be reduced.

“Over the years, the inability of indigent defendants to perfect their bail conditions has led to an increase in touting and other undesirable practices. It has also led to prison congestion and loss of faith in the criminal justice system,” Ipaye said in Lagos at a Stakeholders Summit on the Creation of Bondspersons.

Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, said the prospective bonds agents would be thoroughly screened to ascertain their credibility.

Phillips said a statutory board to be headed by a retired high court judge would also be established to supervise the activities of the bondsmen.

“The purpose of this summit is to intimate all stakeholders on the procedure, process and workings of the new bail bonds system and its impact on the administration of criminal justice. When it is fully operational, I am optimistic that it will help in speedy dispensation of justice and reduce congestion in our prisons,” she said.

– CAJ News

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